The Minor Territories by Danielle Sellers

The subject matter for The Minor Territories is a marriage and a war, and it’s not easy to tell them apart. Sellers writes about difficult material with an even tone and just enough weight. The book has the feel of an important piece of the human experience—it goes beyond the personal, although it is deeply personal. Buy here.

From “Late October, Sardis Lake”

The sun lost to a dark moon. / We argued over the proper way / to begin a long night’s blaze. / When the vein in his temple throbbed, / I sputtered and turned in. He eyed the ax, / raised the volume on the radio. / Against the night, our neighbors’ flames / looked like couples kissing. I thought / There are ways to lose a thing so small.

From “Demonstrations”

I wish our fists in the air back then / had meant more to anyone, even to us. // You wouldn’t have gone further north. / I wouldn’t have slunk back home // to marry a local boy who liked the feeling / of his fingers on my throat.

From “At Lake Mineral Wells State Park”

But they are gone and only / we are here now, and there is no / going back. There is only / now, and now, and now, / and tomorrow, until there isn’t.